ABOUT BED BUGS
Bed bugs feed solely on blood, either human or animal. They are annoying, scary, gross, irritating, and they bite. The bites itch. If they bite often enough, the result looks like a rash. Some people have an allergic reaction to them, and they could cause other complications.
Bed bugs have been found to carry human diseases. However, unlike swine or bird flu, there is no known instance of a bed bug transmitting a disease to a human.
Bed bugs were nearly eradicated about 50 years ago by the use of DDT. Since then, they have reappeared and are now at epidemic proportions, infesting all housing, including upscale homes, hotels, college dorms, and military barracks among others. Since the ban on DDT, the use of milder insecticides has spread, with the result that many bedbugs have grown resistant to them. Their numbers are growing rapidly. They are spread by travel, and new infestations generally start with just a few. Unless contained, they quickly spread to a very unmanageable mass.
The most common bedbug (there are a number of species), Cimex lectularius, is a blood sucking insect that grows up to 5 mm (one-fifth of an inch) in length. They go through a number of stages on their way to becoming an adult. Well-fed bed bugs live up to 10 months, while those without food can last longer. They feed solely by biting and sucking the blood of an animal or human for around 5 minutes every 5 to 10 days, generally at night. They hide in tiny crevices, clothing, toys, mattresses, etc., not far from their host. Females living to maturity are said to lay 3 eggs per day, up to 200 in a lifetime.
BED BUGS AND HUMANS
Humans and warm-blooded animals attract all biting insects, including bed bugs, because they exhale CO2, emit odors from the skin and mouth and radiate body heat. Bed bugs are attracted to the head most of all, the source of the CO2. Bites generally, but not always, occur at night during deep sleep. At first, the bite is not felt by the subject, who may never realize that he or she has been bitten. But in some cases an itch develops which is worse than a mosquito bite and lasts longer. If the biting continues, a row or cluster of red dots like pimples will appear, and worsen with repeated activity. The allergic reaction can become stronger, and the misery much greater. The most effective relief from these symptoms is by the use of a topical corticosteroid, such as Hydrocortisone.
But it is better to not get bitten in the first place. If you see bed bugs, or develop little red sores, the only way to quickly find out if they are present is by using a NightWatch. No other method works as well. It will attract and capture them even if there are just a few, and will continue until they are gone or you determine that the problem is great enough to call in a professional pest service.
Bed bugs have been found to carry dozens of diseases, but no case of a disease transmitted from one human to another by a bed bug has been found. They can cause allergic reactions in some people, and in rare cases, anemia, bacterial infection and even poisoning could occur.
But mainly, we simply do not like sharing our body with insects. We do not like the thought of them and their droppings in our beds at night, and the inflammation and itching that even a few bites can cause. And the prospect of thousands of them in our dwelling place is very upsetting. So if you think you have a problem, get a NightWatch and start on the path to getting rid of them for sure.
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